Dear Friends,

Another summer is upon us and we’ve had a busy few months. April was Autism Awareness month and was filled with activities. On April 3rd, we held an open house for our brand-new Pensacola office location and were thrilled to see so many members of the community come out to show their support and to see our new space. We hosted our 3rd annual “Kickin’ it for Autism” soccer clinic with the FSU Soccer team and coaches on Sunday, April 7th and had a record turnout for this memorable event. For more details and pictures of these events, check out the articles below. Despite our best efforts during CARD Day at the Capitol in March and grass roots efforts before CARD Day, the statewide CARD centers did not receive an increase in funding for the fifth year in a row. We are grateful that we did not lose any funding but will all be trying to find a way to continue the level of support that we strive to provide to our steadily increasing client population. We appreciate the input and effort you provided to your local legislators to share what CARD has done for you and hope we can count on your support next year. As we enter into the middle of the summer, we hope the articles from our consultants offer useful information about keeping some semblance of a routine and how to use this time to foster independence. We’d love to hear stories from our clients about how you spent your summer and what helped you make the summer fun and fruitful. Share your stories with us by emailing: [email protected]. We’d love to share some of your stories in our next newsletter. We are still collecting feedback from our clients and the professionals who serve them via our new Needs Assessment surveys. We would truly appreciate you taking the time to fill out the surveys so we know how we can best serve you in the coming year. Please see the article below to learn how you can help. Wishing you all a Happy Independence Day and hope the rest of your summer provides a bit of relaxation from the demands of the school year.

Catherine Zenko, M.S., CCC-SLP
Director, FSU CARD
[email protected]


3rd Annual Kickin’ It for Autism- A Huge Success! By: Megan Taber What a ball! The 3rd Annual “Kickin’ It for Autism” soccer clinic in partnership with the FSU Soccer team and coaches was a great success. The April 7th event had over 300 attendees and raised over $2,000 for the FSU Autism Institute. On behalf of the FSU Autism Institute and FSU CARD staff, we want to extend a heart-felt thank you to our participants and volunteers. We would also like to thank our community partners, without whom the event would not be possible: ESPN Radio Tallahassee, Technical Recruiting Solutions (TRS), Lindamood Bell, Florida Elite Soccer Association, Star 98.9, Dunkin’ Donuts, Hungry Howie’s Pizza, Gordo’s Cuban Cuisine, North Florida Spine and Wellness, Springbrook Behavioral Health, Tiniest Empire Cupcakes, and Lucky’s Market. It was the vision of the planning committee to raise awareness of our organization and continue our efforts in community outreach. Your contribution helped make our vision a reality. As we continue to grow, please know that partnerships with our community are vital to the success of the FSU Autism Institute and our service programs. You are truly appreciated for your sincere generosity and support of our organization. Please visit our Facebook page for photos ( , and the FSU Soccer Facebook page for photos courtesy of the official FSU Athletics Photographer, Larry Novey ( We look forward to seeing everyone next year!

Pensacola Open House On April 3rd, the Pensacola CARD office officially opened the doors to our new office. We are so excited about having our own unique space to meet with clients and families, host trainings and groups, and have a wonderful area solely for our lending library of over 300 books and resources. We also have a dedicated space for “Make and Takes” where clients, families, educators, and community organizations can come to create their own visual supports! We are sharing our new space with the First Words Project, an FSU Autism Institute project that is dedicated to improve the early identification of autism. We hope that everyone will visit us to experience our new office and all we do here in Pensacola!

Summer Training Institute on Autism, Florida State University

O2019 Summer Institute on Autism Recap By: Catherine Zenko The 2019 Summer Institute on Autism was held in Tallahassee June 19-21, 2019 at the FSU Conference Center. We were thrilled to have three nationally-renowned speakers share their knowledge with our audience of educators, psychologists, speech-language pathologists, parents, guidance counselors, and the FSU Autism Institute Staff. On Wednesday, Dr. Brian Boyd from the University of Kansas (pictured) talked about Evidence-Based and Promising Practices for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Interventions for Core Symptoms. On Thursday, Dr. Susan Levy, a developmental pediatrician from the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia discussed Challenges of Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder. On Friday, Dr. Zachary Warren from Vanderbilt University taught the audience about Innovations in Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder. The Paisley Café, which is one of our Autism-Friendly Businesses provided the delicious lunches and snacks during the institute. Their staff was amazing and included Kevin Graham who is featured in the Autism at Work section of this newsletter. Thursday afternoon the audience was treated to a panel discussion with the owners and staff at the Paisley Café who shared their experience working with Kevin and how it has impacted the entire culture at the restaurant.

Save the Date

Save the Date The 27th Statewide Annual CARD Autism Conference will be on January 18-20, 2020 at the Florida Hotel and Conference Center in Orlando, Florida. Registration for the conference opens in July 2019. Click here for more information:

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